“I guess I did it too hard:” 3 years probation for woman accused of breaking baby’s arms at day care

OAK CREEK — A 35-year-old woman convicted of fracturing the arms of a five-month-old baby at an Oak Creek day care in October of 2016 has been sentenced to probation.

Stephanie McPherson

Stephanie McPherson in May pleaded “no contest” to a charge of child abuse, recklessly causing harm, penalties for Class I felony.

On June 29th, McPherson was sentenced to serve one-and-a-half years in prison and two years extended supervision.

That sentence was stayed, and McPherson was instead placed on probation for three years.

As a condition of probation, McPherson was sentenced to serve six months in the House of Correction, straight time, but that was stayed for use at her probation agent’s discretion.

This happened at the Children of America day care in Oak Creek. Documents indicate the license was revoked in December of 2016, after McPherson was accused of child abuse.

An attorney representing the family of the then-five-month-old baby said in February the child hadn’t fully recovered.

“As you can imagine, this is every parent’s worst nightmare — to drop off your child at day care and then pick up your child and have to find out that something terrible has happened,” said Attorney Jason Abraham.

According to a criminal complaint, on October 3rd, 2016, the baby’s mother, Angela Hall, noticed every time her baby’s arms were touched, she cried out. She took the baby to Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with two bone fractures that could have occurred from “bending, twisting or yanking of the arm.”

Children for America

Children of America

McPherson told investigators she was playing with the baby in a rocking chair and twisting her around. When she was told this caused the child’s injuries she said, “I guess I did it too hard and didn’t realize it.”

The baby’s parents said they found this hard to believe, as the injuries were so severe the baby needed to be in a cast for weeks.

“The bottom line is, this could never have happened that way. Anybody would have known immediately,” said Abraham.

McPherson told investigators on October 3rd, “she probably had a breakdown” because she was dealing with new parents and new children — making it stressful and overwhelming.

Children of America daycare in Oak Creek

Children of America daycare in Oak Creek

The facility was allowed to stay open because they appealed the revocation of their license. According to the law, as long as there is no immediate threat to the children, the facility can remain open during the appeals process.

This was confirmed by the attorney representing the daycare. They made no further comment.